Technology has always played a role in the American political process. This is the digital age and a candidate’s online profile and engagement with the people is important in getting their message out reaching the voter. Young people are a key demographic for candidates and their smartphone is the best way to reach out to them. It’s not the traditional “I’d like your vote” phone call young people are getting, it’s a QR code. With just a click a potential voter is able to scan QR codes and download vital data to inform their choice in the voting booth.
A candidate’s grass root effort will be affected by their digital presence. President Obama has a social network of his own. The Obama campaign in 2008 used technology in its field operations to recruit potential voters, organize registration drives, and canvas door to door. Twitter was a popular amongst all sides but put to the best use by the early Tea Party along with more conventional online gathering sites like MeetUp.com. The election of 2012 will see the use of QR Codes as an instant information supplier on the street. The voter on the street can scan the code to see a platform, or location for a speech or rally or even to pledge their support to the candidate.
Monetary transactions are being conducted with QR codes as we speak. The solicitation of donations for political contribution through QR codes is a logical step. This may require some education of the voting public on how to scan a QR code.
Celebrities have been endorsing candidates for generations. Today’s celebrities are always on the cutting edge of digital technology and their digital presence can be larger than their stage presence. If celebrities offered their endorsement through QR codes which offered content such a special music or video it would be a huge boon to any candidate.
Campaign swag or merchandise is ubiquitous in election years. Yard signage, bumper stickers, t-shirts, hats, and any other variety of promotion would be a great venue for a QR code for the candidate. Whereas this type of merchandise used to be a simple show of support, now it’s an interactive and engaging venue for the candidate to connect to the public.
It is the age where it is possible to register to vote online. Candidates seek out unregistered voters, often times young people, with access to smart phone technology. QR codes can be scanned in an initiative by the candidate to get out the vote.
Any good political strategist or campaign manager would be sitting down with their candidate and teaching them how to scan a QR code and about the impact they could have on their futures.